Rai Benjamin

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Rai Benjamin
2018 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships (28886958248).jpg
Personal information
Nationality American[1][2]
Born (1997-07-27) July 27, 1997 (age 22)
Mount Vernon, New York
Residence Los Angeles, California
Height 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
Sport
Country United States[1][2]
Sport Track and field
Event(s) Hurdling, sprinting
College team USC Trojans (2018)
UCLA Bruins (2016, 2017)
Team Nike[3]
Turned pro 2018[3]
Coached by Joanna Hayes[2]
Quincy Watts[2]
Caryl Smith Gilbert[2]
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)

Rai Benjamin (born July 27, 1997) is an American professional hurdler and sprinter specializing in the 400 m and 400 m hurdles. He is the joint third fastest man in history in the 400 m hurdles with a personal best time of 46.98 s, one of only four times in history under 47.00 s. He won a silver medal at his first World Championships in 2019 in the men's 400 m hurdles, and a gold medal in the 4 × 400 m relay at the same competition.

In college Benjamin ran for the UCLA Bruins and then the USC Trojans, where in early 2018 he was part of the team that set the world best time in the indoor 4 × 400 m relay with a time of 3:00.77. At the time, his relay split time of 44.35 s was the fastest ever recorded in an indoor race. In June of the same year he also helped set the NCAA record in the same event but outdoors, and ran what was at the time the second fastest 400 m hurdles race of all-time in 47.02 s.

Professional

Benjamin had stated he wanted to run for the USA and he was born in New York,[7] but at the 2013 World Youth Championships in Athletics, he represented Antigua in the 400 m hurdles.[8]

In 2017, the IAAF suspended all transfers of allegiance, meaning Benjamin could not represent the United States until transfers were reinstated in summer 2018.[9] In October 2018, Benjamin's transfer request was approved, allowing him to represent the United States abroad and compete in USATF Championship events.[1]

At the 2018 Meeting Areva in Paris, he ran 19.99 in the 200 meters to take .65 of a second off his previous personal best.[4][5][10]

College

Benjamin is a 3-time NCAA Division I track champion; Benjamin earned 8 NCAA Division I All-America honors , 3 Pac-12 Conference titles and 1 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation title as a college student-athlete.

Benjamin earned two NCAA Division I All-America honors after his 2018 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships where he placed 1st in the 400 meters hurdles in a college record time of 47.02 while being a part of a team that ran 2:59.00 to win the 4x400 m. The 47.02, at the time, equalled Edwin Moses for the #2 time in history.

Benjamin earned two NCAA Division I All-America honors after his 2018 NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships where he placed 3rd in the 200 m in a time of 20.34 while being a part of a team that ran 3:00.77 to win the 4x400 m in a college indoor track record time.

Benjamin earned two NCAA Division I All-America honors after his 2017 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships where he placed 2nd in the 400 m hurdles in a time of 48.33 while being a part of a team that ran 39.89 in the 4x100 m.
Benjamin earned one NCAA Division I All-America honor after his 2016 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships where he placed 6th in the 400 meters hurdles in a time of 49.82.

Benjamin earned one NCAA Division I All-America honor after his 2016 NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships where the team placed 7th that ran 9:34.39 in the Distance medley relay.

Representing University of Southern California
Year Mountain Pacific Sports Federation
Indoor track and field
NCAA
Indoor
Pac-12 Conference
Outdoor
NCAA Division I
Outdoor track and field
2018 200 m 3rd
20.34
400 m hurdles 1st
48.46
400 m hurdles 1st
47.02
CR
400 m 1st
45.94
4x400 m 1st
3:00.77
CR
4x100 m 1st
39.38
4x400 m 1st
2:59.00
Representing University of California Los Angeles
2017 4x400 m 5th
3:12.50
4x400 4th
3:09.39
4x100 22nd
39.89
400 6th
47.06
400 m hurdles 1st
49.52
400 m hurdles 2nd
48.33
200 m 3rd
21.09
2016 400 m 7th
47.57
400 m hurdles
52.21
400 m hurdles 6th
49.82
DMR 7th
9:34.39
4x100 m 4th
40.22

[11] [12] [13] [14]

Prep and Personal life

Benjamin from Mount Vernon High School (New York) was the fastest 2015 prep time in the United States in the 400m hurdles with a time of 49.97, fastest 400 m indoor time in the country with a 46.59 and the third fastest outdoor time 46.19.

Benjamin won the 2015 New York Indoor State meet with a national leading time of 33.17 in the 300 meters. He was a three-time New York State Public High School Athletic Association champion in the 400m hurdles.

Benjamin was the 2015 New Balance 400 meters National Champion and the 2015 New Balance Outdoor 400-meter hurdles National Champion.[15]

Just after completing his second year, he represented Antigua and Barbuda at the 2013 World Youth Championships. Just after graduating, he won a silver medal in the 400 meters at the 2015 CARIFTA Games.

He is the son of international Antiguan cricketer Winston Benjamin.[7][16]

Statistics

Information from IAAF profile or Track & Field Results Reporting System unless otherwise noted.[17][18][19]

Personal bests

Event Time Competition Venue Date Notes
400 m hurdles 46.98 Weltklasse Zürich Zürich, Switzerland August 29, 2019
400 m 44.31 Mt. SAC Relays Torrance, California, U.S. April 20, 2019
300 m indoor 32.55 New Balance Indoor Grand Prix Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. January 26, 2019
200 m 19.99 Meeting de Paris Paris, France June 30, 2018 −0.6 m/s wind
200 m indoor 20.34 NCAA Division I Indoor Championships College Station, Texas, U.S. March 10, 2018
4×400 m relay 2:56.69 World Championships Doha, Qatar October 6, 2019 WL
4×400 m relay indoor 3:00.77 NCAA Division I Indoor Championships College Station, Texas, U.S. March 10, 2018 WB[note 1]

Seasonal bests

Year 400 m hurdles 400 m 200 m
2013 53.95 49.55 22.39
2014 51.86 47.17 20.88
2015 49.97 46.19 21.09
2016 49.82 47.57 21.17
2017 48.33 45.72 20.64
2018 47.02 44.74 19.99
2019 46.98 44.31

International championship results

Year Competition Venue Position Event Time Notes
Representing  Antigua and Barbuda
2013 World Youth Championships Donetsk, Ukraine 5th (semi 3) 400 m hurdles 52.36 PB
2015 CARIFTA Games (U20) Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis 2nd 400 m 46.19 PB
World Relays Nassau, Bahamas DNF (semi 1) 4×200  m relay
Representing the  United States
2019 World Championships Doha, Qatar 2nd 400 m hurdles 47.66
1st 4×400  m relay 2:56.69 WL, PB

National championship results

Year Competition Venue Position Event Time Notes
Representing the UCLA Bruins
2016 NCAA Division I Championships Eugene, Oregon 6th 400 m hurdles 49.82 PB
2017 NCAA Division I Championships Eugene, Oregon 2nd 400 m hurdles 48.33 PB
7th (semi 1) 4×100 m relay 39.89
Representing the USC Trojans
2018 NCAA Division I Indoor Championships College Station, Texas 3rd 200 m 20.34 PB
1st 4×400 m relay 3:00.77 WB[note 1]
NCAA Division I Championships Eugene, Oregon 1st 400 m hurdles 47.02 WL, NCAAR, PB[7]
1st 4×400 m relay 2:59.00 NCAAR, PB
Representing Nike
2019 USA Championships Des Moines, Iowa 1st 400 m hurdles 47.23

Circuit wins

400 m hurdles

300 m

Notes

  1. ^ a b Shared with Zach Shinnick, Ricky Morgan, and Michael Norman for the USC Trojans. Because Rai Benjamin was not cleared to represent the United States with his American teammates until after the race, the time is not recognized by the IAAF as the official world record.[20]

References

  1. ^ a b c Sully, Kevin (October 4, 2018). "Rai Benjamin Cleared To Tompete for the US". milesplit.com. FloSports, Inc. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e Lindstrom, Sieg (January 19, 2019). "New Flag, New Beginning for Rai Benjamin". trackandfieldnews.com. Track & Field News. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Sully, Kevin (June 14, 2018). "Rai Benjamin is Now a Nike Athlete". flotrack.org. FloSports, Inc. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Rowbottom, Mike (July 1, 2018). "Norman and Benjamin the latest starts to shine in the IAAF Diamond League". iaaf.org. IAAF. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  5. ^ a b Zaccardi, Nick (June 30, 2018). "Abderrahman Samba runs second-fastest 400m hurdles ever (video)". nbcsports.com. NBC. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  6. ^ Wharton, David (April 20, 2019). "Mt. SAC Relays' road show ends with some top marks, including Michael Norman's 400 win". latimes.com. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  7. ^ a b c Burke, Timothy (June 8, 2018). "Rai Benjamin Runs 47.02 400m Hurdles, Tied For Second-Fastest in Human History". deadspin.com. Deadspin. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  8. ^ "400m hurdles (84.0 cm) Boys semi-final results".
  9. ^ "Transfer of Allegiance".
  10. ^ 2018 Paris Diamond League 200 m
  11. ^ Rai Benjamin UCLA track results TFRRS. June 30, 2018
  12. ^ Rai Benjamin USC track results TFRRS. June 30, 2018
  13. ^ Rai Benjamin USC profile University of Southern California. June 30, 2018
  14. ^ Rai Benjamin UCLA profile University of California Los Angeles. June 30, 2018
  15. ^ track ucla mount vernon rai benjamin
  16. ^ Levy, Leighton (October 4, 2018). "Antiguan star athlete Rai Benjamin switches allegiance to USA". sportsmax.tv. SportsMaxTV. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  17. ^ "RAI BENJAMIN ATHLETE PROFILE". iaaf.org. IAAF. Retrieved October 7, 2019.
  18. ^ "RAI BENJAMIN UCLA". tfrrs.org. Track & Field Results Reporting System. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  19. ^ "RAI BENJAMIN USC". tfrrs.org. Track & Field Results Reporting System. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  20. ^ Joe Fleming (March 12, 2018). "World, collegiate records highlight NCAA indoor track and field championships". usatoday.com. USA Today. Retrieved October 9, 2019.

External links

  • Rai Benjamin on Twitter
  • Rai Benjamin at IAAF
  • Rai Benjamin profile at TFRRS (USC)
  • Rai Benjamin profile at TFRRS (UCLA)
  • Rai Benjamin bio at USC Trojans
  • Rai Benjamin bio at UCLA Bruins

Videos

  • Michael Norman and Rai Benjamin at Mt SAC Relays 2019 via MyStyle Records on YouTube
  • Michael Norman 19.84 Wins Men's 200m – IAAF Diamond League Paris 2018 via IAAF Diamond League on YouTube (Rai Benjamin 2nd in 19.99)
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